The importance of the Argentine maritime spaces

The importance of the Argentine maritime spaces

June 8 was designated by the United Nations as World Oceans Day, with the aim of remembering the crucial role that they play in our lives and the ways in which we can contribute to their protection. Argentina, now thought of as a bicontinental country, plays a crucial role in the sustainability of resources and the fight against global warming.

This day is a good opportunity to talk about the importance of ocean spaces, which play a vital role in our lives: they are central to developing economies and also constitute an important global response to climate change by absorbing most of the heat generated due to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. To this must be added that 80% of international trade is transported by sea and that, according to UN data, more than three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihood.

In this sense, it should be kept in mind that the Argentine Republic is a bicontinental country that has a marked oceanic vocation, which is reflected in the immensity of its maritime coastline, which with more than 4700 km. in length, added to the more than 11,000 km. of Antarctica, Argentina and the southern islands, is one of the largest in the world. Likewise, the Southwest Atlantic has a strategic value that is due both to geopolitical conditions and to its relevance in terms of natural resources and biodiversity: it is home to one of the most important fishing grounds in the world, with species of high commercial value, such as the Illex argentinus squid, in addition to hydrocarbon basins and other resources of our continental shelf.

World Oceans Day.

Taking this into account, different policies are being carried out by the national State with the aim of better understanding and caring for our resources in order to use them sustainably, as well as to deepen the effective exercise of sovereignty over Argentine maritime spaces. Among them, the Pampa Azul project, launched in 2014 and revitalized in 2020, should be highlighted, in which seven ministries participate in a coordinated manner, with a strategic and multidisciplinary nature, with a view to promoting scientific knowledge, promoting technological innovations that contribute to strengthening of the industries linked to the sea and the economic development of the Argentine maritime regions.

In relation to conservation, and in order to combat illegal fishing and protect the natural resources that correspond to all Argentines, in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, the Argentine Foreign Ministry worked on the design of a law, approved in 2020, which updated the amounts of the fines applied to illegal fishing and subjected them to a variable value unit, so that the sanctions do not lose their deterrent power. Also, and in relation to the care of the marine life that harbors our maritime spaces, the creation and adaptation of the Marine Protected Areas “Namuncurá-Banco, Burdwood”, “Yaganes”; and “Namuncurá/ Banco Burdwood II”, which made it possible to significantly increase knowledge of these strategic spaces. In addition, within the framework of the Secretariat under my charge, the Oceanic and South Atlantic Policy Coordination was created in 2020, to contribute to the development of State policies on the matter, in coordination with the different areas of the public sector. and civil society involved in these important issues.

On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that it was our government that once again raised Malvinas to the rank of Secretariat, and incorporated into its orbit the issues related to Antarctica and the South Atlantic, understanding that such issues are geographically and strategically related. and cannot be effectively addressed in a split fashion. This is in line with the creation of the sub-headquarters of the Secretariat in Ushuaia, which accounts for a southern and federal perspective.

Indeed, 40 years after the South Atlantic Conflict and always considering that Malvinas is a national cause, deeply rooted in our People and constitutes part of our identity as a nation, as stated in the National Constitution, we must keep in mind that a policy Consistent with the ratification of sovereignty over our islands and the corresponding maritime spaces, it requires as a necessary correlate the knowledge of our sea and its strategic value for our country. In the same way, I will allow myself to affirm that an Argentine model of sustainable and inclusive development that does not look at the sea is unthinkable.



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